Hydroponic strawberries: bottomless berries

Growing hydroponic strawberries can be an efficient, clean, and fun new way to grow one of your favorite berries from the comfort of your own home. You may hear the term hydroponics and think it's an over-complicated gardening technique, but it can actually be very simple!

There are countless reasons why you want to try this growth style, and it's easier to get started than you think. We'll cover all of that and then explain exactly how to grow hydroponic strawberries from start to finish. We have a lot to talk about, so let's dive in!

Prevention of pests and diseases in strawberries:

Why grow hydroponic strawberries?

Hydroponic strawberries can be as tasty as ground-grown ones. Source: one-speed photography

Whether you have grown strawberries in the ground or are an absolute novice to this berry, there are many reasons why you should consider this type of cultivation.

If you are not familiar with hydroponics in general, you will find a brief overview here.

This type of cultivation uses no soil. Instead, an inert medium is used to anchor the roots of the plant in place. The root system grows through this medium and, depending on the growth, is directly exposed to water or a nutrient solution.


What are the advantages of growing strawberries in a hydroponic system?

Since there is no soil, you do not have to deal with soil pests at all. This greatly simplifies your work as a breeder. In addition, hydroponic strawberry plants are less susceptible to flying pests!

You may have the impression that you are using more water due to the constant water supply. In reality, hydroponics is more water efficient because you circulate the water instead of constantly supplying fresh water to the plants.

If you have limited space, you will be delighted to learn that hydroponic strawberries can be stacked vertically. This leads to more plants per square foot of area. In addition, harvesting your strawberry fruits is much easier than crouching to harvest from the ground.

There are many other good points regarding hydroponics. It is definitely a method worth your time.


With all of these professionals, you may be wondering what the catch is.

Hydroponic growth has few disadvantages. The most important thing is the initial setup cost. Hydroponic systems can be slightly more expensive than growing in the ground. However, these systems often pay off over time in terms of efficiency and long-term yields, as this allows you to grow more strawberries through vertical growth.

Another disadvantage of this type of gardening is the learning curve of hydroponics. It's a bit more complicated at first than traditional soil gardening, but once you get the hang of it, that's no longer a problem.

The last thing to note about strawberry hydroponics is that they provide slightly fewer berries per plant than soil systems. However, since you can grow more berries overall if your system is indoors where the weather is constant, the loss per plant can be easily made up for at first. They also grow much more efficiently!

What you need to get started

Hydroponics with strawberriesHydroponic systems can be used on a large or small scale for strawberry production. Source: Yewenyi

Obviously, the first step is to find a good hydroponic system. These differ greatly in terms of price, number of systems and performance. So you have to be careful when buying your system.

When starting for the first time, stick to the ebb and flow, deep water culture (DWC) or hydroponic drip system. There are many great systems ready to grow, but you can also build your own.

With a garden tray, a reservoir, a water pump, and some other various water components, those who want to grow on a budget can get started easily and at a fraction of the cost of a typical system.

The actual structure of the system is fairly simple. You just have to put your water reservoir under your tray where your plants will actually grow. Then set your pump and timer so that water flows from the reservoir into your growth bowl so your berries stay watered and fed.

You also need to consider which growing media you want to use. Some common options are growth stones, clay pebbles, coconut or rock wool. There are many other forms of growth media too!

You will also likely need some hydroponic nutrients to nourish your plants well and reach their full potential. But that's entirely up to you as a breeder.

Growing hydroponic strawberries

Hydro grow bag system with coconut or peatSome systems use growing bags filled with coconut or peat as the growth medium. Source: amanderson2

Now that you've got an idea of ​​what you need to get started, let's move on to the fun part – growing your hydroponic strawberries.

We'll cover everything you need to know. Whether you have been involved in hydroponics or a beginner, you will feel safe at the end of this section.

planting techniques

Before you start, you need to decide whether you want to grow from seeds or from the start. Strawberry seeds can take years to be fertile. So this is a much slower option.

Instead, you can find some young strawberry plants and plant them directly into your hydroponic system using a medium of your choice and net pots. Partially fill the net pots, put your plant in after you've rinsed all of the soil from its root system, and then fill the rest of the way to keep them in place. Pour it well right away.

Light & temperature

When growing hydroponic strawberries, you are often in an air-conditioned environment. You need to provide the right lighting and temperature conditions for your berries to thrive.

Strawberries prefer warm temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

From a lighting point of view, you need to make sure that your strawberries get between 8 and 12 hours of light a day. Unlike some plants, there is no need to change the lighting plan throughout its life. You can keep them on this photo period forever.

When you grow in a greenhouse, your plants get their light naturally. Otherwise, you'll need to add additional growth lights to provide them with what they need.

Water quality & pH values

When it comes to hydroponics, water quality and pH are everything. Their roots are directly exposed to water, so there is little room for mistakes.

We strongly recommend using a water filter to ensure that you don't feed your strawberries with harmful chloramines or contaminants that are often found in tap water.

You need to make sure that your pH is in the right range. Use a pH meter to make sure your water is between 5.8 and 6.2. If you fall below or exceed this range, nutrient problems will occur and your plants will suffer.

growth medium

There are many hydroponic growth media to choose from, and all do pretty much the same thing. However, we recommend sticking to something that is simple and readily available, such as: B. coconut.

Coco is completely inert and does not change the nutrition or the pH of your strawberries. It is very beginner-friendly, widely used and inexpensive. You may want to add some perlite to increase ventilation and drainage.


Water Tower SystemWater towers can use either soil or an ungrounded medium to grow strawberries. Source: Tiswango

Regardless of whether you grow organically or not, in hydroponics strawberries need a nutrient solution to stay alive. Your strawberries need plenty of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus as well as secondary nutrients and micronutrients.

You need to use liquid nutrients. Organic substances tend to clump and clog hydroponic systems. Therefore, it is easier for beginners to start with plastics and continue from there. One of our favorite lines is General Hydroponics Nutrients. These provide easy-to-follow feeding schedules so you know exactly what and when to feed your strawberry plants throughout your life. They are beginner-friendly, of very high quality and inexpensive.


If you want to cross certain types of strawberries, you should pollinate your strawberries. Pollinating insects like bees may not have access to your plants. Therefore, you may need to pollinate to produce fruit.

Since hydroponics systems are indoor growing systems, you need to find a supply of useful insects such as bees to pollinate your strawberries.

You can easily pollinate by hand. Strawberry plants are hermaphrodite, so you don't have to find male or female flowers. Use a cotton swab to collect pollen from one flower and transfer it to another. Then repeat this for all of your plants and dust them all with the same swab. This can be tedious if you need to pollinate a lot of plants, but it is simple and very effective.

If your hydroponics setup is outside and you have pollinating insects on hand, you don't have to do this to produce fruit. However, anyone who grows indoors should pollinate by hand to ensure good fruit development.


So that your strawberries grow healthily and achieve a high yield, you should cut off runners, also known as stolons. Strawberry runners are leafless stems that stick out of the plant, sometimes with a new plant on top. Cut them as close as possible to the base of the plant. If a plant has formed at the tip of the runner, you can use it to reproduce!


Strawberry plants are typically propagated using seeds or plantlets that develop at the end of their stolons.

You must obtain seeds from seeds from a reliable seed supplier. While it is possible to collect seeds from the berries of your previous year, they may not be able to be grown properly if the plant is a hybrid. Plant your seed indoors in a potting soil and wait for it to germinate and develop into a small plant. Keep it moist and warm and provide light so that the young plant can develop.

Take your cuttings with small plants and place them on moistened potting soil. Attach the base of the plant to the ground and keep it warm and moist. Provide light for these too. They form roots faster and you can cut off the extendable rotor handle as soon as they are available.

For both seed starts and small plants, wait for the plant to develop roots at least 2 inches long. You can then carefully remove them. Brush off most of the soil and rinse the roots with water to remove dirt that is still attached to the strawberry roots. You can then plant them in your growth medium.


Suspended hydro trench systemHydro-style trenches can be hung vertically to create more space. Source: Lars Plougmann

If you follow the steps outlined above, you will probably avoid most of the problems that new growers face when growing strawberries.

However, there is still a chance that you will run into problems no matter how careful and hardworking you are. Let's go through the possible problems.

Growing problems

The most common growing problems that will arise are nutritional and pH imbalances. This can be caused by malnutrition, overfeeding, too low or too high pH.

It is up to you as the producer to diagnose this problem accurately. For any gardener who wants to grow the best possible plants, it is a must to keep a detailed diary of what you do, what you see, and what steps you take to fix each problem.

Make sure your nutrient solution has the correct values ​​for your strawberry plants. If the nutrient solution you are using is too strong, you should probably dilute it with additional water. Talk to your hydroponic supplier and find out which nutrient solution options are optimized for strawberry and fruit production.

The timing is important. If you feed at the wrong time, you can upset the delicate balance between pH, nutrients and water. Your strawberries can suffer. Have a pH meter ready and check your values ​​regularly.

If you follow your feeding plan carefully, pay attention to problems and act accordingly, you should be able to fix problems quickly.


As you grow indoors, you are not exposed to many insects that can be found in traditional soil gardens. In addition, hydroponic growth further reduces the likelihood of pests and diseases.

However, there is always a risk of something entering your garden and you need to act quickly. Here are some pests and diseases that can occur when growing strawberries:

  • Mites (spider mites)
  • Thrips
  • mosquitoes

For most of them, the problem should be resolved if you spray the surfaces of your plant with neem oil. If it persists, use an organic pyrethrin-based spray to fix the problem.


The hydroponic cultivation of strawberry plants eliminates most root rot problems. Since there is no soil on which a fungus rot can form, you simply do not experience it!

However, some diseases can still appear over the growth medium. These can be treated in different ways.

Two forms of fruit rot, Rhizopus red and Schleimfruchtfäulecan still form on the fruit. These are common for both ripe and overripe strawberries and develop at the warm temperatures at which your plants grow best. To reduce the likelihood of this, pick fruit once it is ripe.

Botrytis cinerea can affect the fruits and flowers. Sometimes called gray mold, this fungal disease can surprisingly easily penetrate greenhouses or garages. Use neem oil for mild infestation or a copper-based fungicide for large areas.

mildew is another spore-based disease that affects strawberries. As with botrytis, you can treat this with either neem oil or a copper-based fungicidal spray.

frequently asked Questions

Strawberries in moatsSuch a trench system often uses ebb and flow to irrigate the plants it contains. Source: NSW DPI

Q: Do hydroponic strawberries have pesticides?

A: Only if you have used one. No strawberry plant contains pesticides by nature, although some have been bred to have natural immunity to certain plant diseases.

Q: How many strawberries can you get from a plant?

A: It depends on the type of strawberry you have chosen, whether it is eternal or seasonal, how old the plant is, and other factors.

On average, you can expect between 150 and 400 grams of strawberries per weight per plant. With hydroponics, you can grow all year round, which means you can get berries anytime! Older strawberry plants reduce their fruit production over time and may need to be replaced by younger, stronger ones.

The green thumbs behind this article:
Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime gardener

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